Before we ever met Tammi in person we stalked her via social media. It’s true! She is in a band we really liked, and she rode a sweet ass motorcycle! We have known her about 4 years now and since we first met through the Long Beach moto scene we have had a lot of fun together. Whether we’re out on some crazy off-road adventure, racing each other around the track or headed out for a Saturday ride into the canyons; you can bet that Tammi will be cracking jokes and telling stories. Her sense of humor and her ability to nerd-out with you on just about any topic is one of our favorite things about her. Motorcycles are a big part of her life and she constantly has a project, or multiple projects going at once. She is the kind of rider that will jump on just about any bike and take it for a rip around the track. We admire a lot of things about Tammi and the way she balances her life and fills it with things that challenge and inspire her everyday.

Where are you from originally? I was born in Phoenix, AZ, raised in Chicago, IL. I’ve been in California since 1998.

How long have you lived in Long Beach? I have lived in Long Beach, CA for about 5 years now; and I LOVE it!

Tell us about your childhood? I moved all over during my childhood, from Arizona to Illinois and California. I think that the differing cultures and norms of those places had an important role in shaping who I am today. I will go anywhere, and try anything new as a result of being exposed to so many different geographic locations growing up. While it was always rad to meet new people along the way, I spent a lot of time by myself. This is probably why I love being on the road, on my bike, inside of my helmet- my happy place.

Do you have a nick name? I wish I had a cool handle! Unless Bonnie #2 counts…

When were you introduced to Motorcycles? I did not have the good fortune to grow up around motorcycles, or ride dirt bikes as a kid. Nevertheless, I gravitated towards vintage bike culture in my early 20’s, and decided it was too good to pass up! I took it upon myself to enroll in the MSF course, bought a bike, and never looked back. That was about 6 years ago.

How do motorcycles and the community play a role in your life? My life tends to be very compartmentalized- work, bikes, music. Each of those things plays an equally important role in my life. However, motorcycling has opened up the door to adventures, friends and a community that I never knew possible. As opposed to my career or music, where I need to be self-motivated, there is always amazing support and encouragement from the motorcycling community to get out there and ride, to push it a little further each time.

What kind of bike do you ride and why? I’m a big fan of having a bike for each motorcycling discipline I’m into, but that quickly descends into an obsession. A good friend once told me, “It’s not hoarding if you have nice stuff. It’s collecting.” So with that being said, I have a 2008 Triumph Scrambler, 1966 Triumph T100 Desert Sled, 1972 Yamaha DT2-MX250, and 1975 Yamaha XS650 Café.

Dream bike? That is a difficult question. I guess I’d have to defer to my first ever dream bike- a TriBSA.

Best moto trip you have ever been on? ALL OF THEM. Ha! Honestly though, my favorite is still the Iron Butt from Long Beach to the Grand Canyon and back. That was 21 hours of pure bliss. In that short amount of time I saw all the natural beauty that the desert, the forest and the coast have to offer, all of the weather conditions you can imagine from 105+ degree temperatures to down pouring rain and hail, and the challenge of an endurance race against the clock.

What is at the top of your list of destinations you want to ride? Honestly, I don’t have a bucket list of specific riding destinations in mind. I will always ask myself the following questions: 1) is it pretty there? And 2) is it pretty on the way there? If the answer to either one of those questions is yes, then there is a darn good chance I want to ride there.

What are you goals as a motorcyclist? Be it MX, flat track, super-moto, desert, or street, I always want to feel as though I am improving. I know I am not the fastest, and certainly not the most talented, motorcyclist. I rarely (if ever) end up on the podium, but if I can get off my bike at the end of the day and feel like I learned something new, then that’s a win for me

What would you say to new riders as a piece of advice? I would definitely recommend that new riders take it slow, and learn at their own pace. We all know that motorcycles are inherently dangerous, so don’t feel pressured to go on a long ride, or a group ride, or over terrain that you aren’t comfortable with until you are ready. The fun should always outweigh the fear.

Riding a motorcycle is like ________? …magic space kittens. Possibly magic space kittens with pizza. Motorcycles are THAT rad.

What else are you into besides motos? I very much enjoy learning new Rubik’s Cube algorithms. I also dig rock & roll music. If I’m not on a motorcycle or at work, it’s a pretty safe bet I’m probably in a band rehearsal. I’ve been playing violin for about 23 years, guitar and bass for 20 years and keys for 10 years. Before motorcycles, music was my main passion and creative outlet.

What do you do for a living? I am a Mechanical Engineer, working at the Happiest Place on Earth. But I like to think of myself more as a Professional Mathmagician.

What’s on your current music playlist? As per standard protocol, I am still obsessed with anything in the Hellacopters vein, and Nicke Andersson’s current musical incarnation Imperial State Electric. I’ve also been on a 60’s garage kick lately.

What is a pet peeve of yours? I don’t have many pet peeves, except for fake people. I encourage others to have integrity and take ownership of who they are. All we have is this life, and it shouldn’t be spent trying to mold yourself into what other people want you to look like, want you to be or want you to do. Just do you.

Snack of choice? Anything in Joy’s jacket pockets. Oh! Also potato chips with ruffles, ridges, waves or intriguing geometry of any kind. More surface area = more crispy chip-y goodness to enjoy. Snack science….My cat Peanut’s favorite snack is Cheezits. That’s important to note.

If you were a crayon color, which one would you be and why? Sparkle. Can I be the sparkle crayon?? Because sparkles!!!

Who inspires you? I am inspired by people that are unaffected by the challenges that face them, and push ahead to their goals despite adversity- and do so with a smile and a badass positive attitude. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing men and women that do just that. Their journeys inspire me to keep on truckin’ every day.

What inspires you? I’m inspired by the unknown. Do I know how to solve that Dynamic Analysis problem? Nope. Let’s find a nerdier calculator. Do I know how to get to the next hidden gem of a campsite in the middle of nowhere? Nope. Let’s ride until we find it. Do I know how to play that radical Jack Bruce bass line? Nope. Let’s rehearse for as long as takes to figure it out. Can I scrape peg and drag my knee around that sweet turn? Hell no. Let’s Photoshop the heck out of the riding photos so it looks like I can. (Just kidding…) But you get the idea. There is always another question, always another unknown- the pursuit of which will never end.

Why is wearing technical riding apparel important to you? Once you have biffed it hard on a motorcycle, be it in dirt or asphalt, you know how bad it sucks. No one should ever have to go through the misery that is recovering from needless and avoidable moto injuries.

What is the most important thing to you when choosing something to ride in? Real talk: It has to look good. I won’t wear gear that doesn’t follow suit with my own personal taste, and style of the motorcycle. In the immortal words of Dana Carvey as Prez Bush Sr., “Not gunna do it…”

What makes you interested in being an ambassador for Atwyld? I am beyond excited to work alongside women that have the same passion for riding as I do. These gals know and understand the void in women’s motorcycling gear at a cellular level, because they live it every day. Together we can prove that it is possible look and feel amazing on our bikes and know that above all, we are protected.

What do you think of when you hear the word Voyage? Voyage means into charging into uncharted territory, dismissing the fear of the unknown, and embracing the void on the other side.

What do you think when you look up at a night sky full of stars? I think of how there is SO much more out there than we know. The paradigm is that we will never know if we don’t adventure into the unknown.

Photo credits in order:

Jeff Stockwell, Ben Zales, Sayer Danforth, Scott Toepher, @eliatytell, Jenny Warren, @subcultures, Jeff Stockwell, Jeff Stockwell, Ben Zales